Let’s begin with what this place isn’t. It likely isn’t your ma’s home cooking (or pouring), it isn’t the local dive (obviously), it isn’t pretentious or uptight and it really isn’t expected. I’ll give them 10 points just for opening a joint (finally!) that isn’t predictable.
It is, however, a great card to play for that oh-so-important first date. Consider this spot the ace up your sleeve. The wild card if you will. They have done a wonderful job with creating an atmosphere that screams for some courtship over a delicious libation. The mood lighting at the ‘Bah is bright enough to drink some scotch with the fellas, but it lulls nicely into an intimate ambiance in the dining area for when you’re with that special someone.
Some of the obvious highlights of this place are the live jazz music, the beautifully crafted interior and the excellent food and beverage menus. The essence of this establishment really is the crew though.
The leader of the crew is Jazzbah owner Don Putz, seen at left. If you’ve been to the ‘Bah, you’ve probably been greeted, or possibly even served by him. What’s interesting about Don, other than his vast knowledge of wines and his impeccable timing with a joke, is that he leads by example. You will see him all over the ‘Bah checking on patrons, pouring drinks, assisting his waiters and more.
The bar’s chief mixologist, Daniel Gonzales, has won a slew of awards including 2010 Battle of the Mixologists “Shake It Up”national competition in Las Vegas, NV. He is very well recognized in the world of cocktail creation. Daniel tends the bar like a champ, because, well, he is one! He brings back the fond old memories of service with a smile.
The talent behind the bar doesn’t stop there. In a recent concoction contest in Albuquerque, Les and Isaac of the ‘Bah took home 1st place and 4th place respectively, making your chances of being served a delectable drink by an-award-winning mixologist fairly favorable. Respect to the “Pink’s Hawk!” which is the drink that Les used to bring home the gold.
If dinner is your mission, satisfy that hunger with one of many of Chef Robert Pacheco’s fine dishes. The menu is well rounded with what they refer on the eatery’s website (www.Jazzbahabq.com) as “...his (Pacheco’s) fresh interpretations of upscale American bistro fare.” Below is a photo of a starting salad that the chef prepared for one of the ‘Bahs premier events aptly titled “Scotch-Cigars-Meat.”
-Written and photographed by Artis Jackson